Practicum: Work F*cking Harder
Work fucking harder is easily our most controversial piece of advice. Over the years, a number of people have pushed back against it to protect the (apparently) impressionable minds of professionals everywhere from the dangers of burn out.
Burn out is a serious threat to wellbeing, we’ve experienced it more than once in our careers. Our business first took off in the basement of our house in graduate school (as you’ll learn when you read our new book, which you’ve no doubt already preordered). That meant that we had a design studio and an order fulfillment center — complete with employees, interns, and collaborators — operating in our home at all hours. We had no separation between our work and our personal life for years, and that, coupled with 16 hour workdays, inevitably took its toll. As we’ve matured, however, we’ve learned to take better care of ourselves.
Working harder, mindlessly, aimlessly, hopelessly, for the sake of getting more work done is neither rewarding, nor responsible. Our advice is never intended to enable you to further indenture yourself to an unfulfilling day job, it’s to inspire you to achieve higher goals than your doubt, frustration, or discouragement may be allowing.
Whenever we’re scolded for issuing this advice, we have two questions:
Have you ever had a dream for your life?
Have you ever had to purposefully change in order to accomplish something important?
So few people will muster the courage to acknowledge their aspirations, and even fewer will pursue them. Those of us who have actively decided to make our dreams into reality have had to accept that we face overwhelming odds of failure, well intentioned discouragement and distraction from friends and family, and a steep, dangerous, uncharted course into the future that may very well lead nowhere.
Your dream may not be to own a business, land an office in the c-suite, or get rich. But your dream will require you to change in some way. To change your goals, or your network, or your skills, or your cost of living, or maybe even to change your outlook on life. Pursuing a dream requires you to grow. And growth takes work. Hard work. So work fucking harder.
Authored by Jason Richburg
GFDA Copywriter and Curriculum Director